So this guy walks into a dragon’s lair
and he says
why the long tale?
HAR HAR BUDDY
says the dragon
The dragon’s a classic
the ‘57 Chevy of existential chthonic threats
take in those Christmas colors, those
impervious green scales, sticky candy-red firebreath,
comes standard with a heap of rubylust
Kick the tires, boy.
See how she rides.
Sit down, kid, says the dragon. Diamonds
roll off her back like dandruff.
Oh, you’d rather be called a paladin?
I’d rather be a unicorn.
Always thought that
was the better gig. Everyone thinks
you’re innocent. Everyone calls you
pure. And the girls aren’t afraid
they come right up with their little hands out
for you to sniff
like you’re a puppy
and they’re gonna take you home.
They let you put your head right
in their laps.
But nobody on this earth
ever got what they wanted. Now
I know what you came for. You want
my body. To hang it up on a nail
over your fireplace. Say to some milk-and-rosewater chica
who lays her head in your lap
look how much it takes
to make me feel like a man.
We’re in the dark now, you and me. This is primal
shit right here. Grendel, Smaug, St. George. You’ve been
called up. This is the big game. You don’t have
to make stupid puns. Flash your feathers
like your monkey bravado
can impress. I saw a T-Rex fight a comet
and lose. You’ve
got nothing I want.
Here’s something I bet you don’t know:
every time someone writes a story about a dragon
a real dragon dies.
Something about seeing
and being seen
something about mirrors
that old tune about how a photograph
can take your whole soul. At the end
of this poem
I’m going to go out like electricity
in an ice storm. I’ve made peace with it.
That last blockbuster took out a whole family
of Bhutan thunder dragons
living in Latvia
the fumes of their cleargas hoard
hanging on their beards like blue ghosts.
A dragon’s gotta get zen
You want to cut me up? Chickenscratch my leather
with butcher’s chalk:
cutlets, tenderloin, ribs for the company barbecue,
chuck, chops, brisket, roast.
I dig it, I do.
I want to eat everything, too.
When I look at the world
I see a table.
All those fancy houses, people with degrees, horses and whales,
bankers and Buddha statues
the Pope, astronauts, panda bears and yes, paladins
if you let me swallow you whole
I’ll call you whatever you want.
Look at it all: waitresses and ice caps and submarines down
at the bottom of the heavy lightless saltdark of the sea
Don’t they know they’d be safer
I could be big for them
I could hold them all
My belly could be a city
where everyone was so loved
they wouldn’t need jobs. I could be
post-scarcity dragonhearted singularity.
I could eat them
and feed them
and eat them
and feed them.
This is why I don’t get to be a unicorn.
Those ponies have clotted cream and Chanel No. 5 for blood
and they don’t burn up like comets
with love that tastes like starving to death.
And you, with your standup comedy knightliness,
covering Beowulf’s greatest hits on your tin kazoo,
you can’t begin to think through
what it takes to fill up a body like this.
It takes everything pretty
and everything true
and you stick yourself in a cave because
your want is bigger than you.
I just want to be
the size of a galaxy
so I can eat all the stars and gas giants
without them noticing
and getting upset.
Is that so bad?
what love looks like?
what you want, too?
I’ll make you a deal.
Come close up
stand on my emeraldheart, my sapphireself
the goldpile of my body
Close enough to smell
everything you’ll never be.
Don’t finish the poem. Not for nothing
is it a snake
that eats her tail
and means eternity. What’s a few verses worth
anyway? Everyone knows
poetry doesn’t sell. Don’t you ever feel
like you’re just
a story someone is telling
about someone like you?
I get that. I get you. You and me
we could fit
inside each other. It’s not nihilism
if there’s really no point to anything.
I have a secret
down in the deep of my dark.
All those other kids who wanted me
to call them paladins,
warriors, saints, whose swords had names,
whose bodies were perfect
they’ve set up a township near my liver
had babies with the maidens they didn’t save
invented electric lightbulbs
thought up new holidays.
You can have my body
just like you wanted.
Or you can keep on fighting dragons
re-staging that same old Cretaceous deathmatch
But hey, hush, come on.
You’ll never fix
I have a forgiveness in me
the size of eons
and if a dragon’s body is big enough
it just looks like the world.
Once upon a time there was a crooked tree and a straight tree. And they grew next to each other. And every day the straight tree would look at the crooked tree and he would say, ‘You’re crooked. You’ve always been crooked and you’ll continue to be crooked. But look at me! Look at me!’ said the straight tree. He said, ‘I’m tall and I’m straight.’ And then one day the lumberjacks came into the forest and looked around, and the manager in charge said, ‘Cut all the straight trees.’ And that crooked tree is still there to this day, growing strong and growing strange.
Can be found onFFandAO3 and Tumblr Chapters (2) (3)
Words ~ 5400 Story Rating ~ T++
Killian Jones had been born on the right side of the tracks on a night when the stars were in perfect alignment. He lived a life having parents who were overjoyed by his birth because they had given up hope of having a second child, a brother who allowed him to tag along wherever he went, and friends he loved and whom he could depend on whenever needed. He also had a solid head on his shoulders and grew up with such a thirst for all types of knowledge that he kept his mother busy taking him to and from the local library, where he would check out books on everything from ‘How to Grow the Best Orchids’ to ‘Making the Most of a Design’. Killian wasn’t a one-dimensional child either, for he had inherited his mother’s appreciation for beauty and could describe a painting as easily as he could recite poetry. From a very young age, he loved visiting all types of museums and asking questions of his parents and, eventually, of his teachers and their answers satisfied him for a time. But as he grew, while he continued to strive to learn and understand the world around him, he always felt that there was more out there. A part of him that was always searching for that elusive something that he knew was out there; but what or whom it was, the search continued.
As a young boy, his parents had been inseparable, and their love and affection for each other and for their children was apparent to anyone they were around. There was a sense of the Jones family against the world and, in a way, it had always been that way, as Katherine’s parents never warmed up to the boy from the wrong side of London, whisking their daughter away from the society where they thought she belonged. Even after Brennan had made his way as a successful banker throughout Europe, a distance still existed, and for that reason their small family remained isolated, spending their summers together picnicking, boating and playing football, and skiing, skating and visiting museums in the winter.
Since learning had always come easily to Killian, he had high marks and found his way into the Imperial College London to study engineering at the young age of eighteen. Moving away from home and into dormitory life, where he met his best mate Robin Locksley, gave him a freedom that he had never known, and much to his mother and father’s consternation, he had ended up on academic probation after the first year. A stern lecture by his father and the threat of being forced to join his brother in the Royal Navy seemed to be just the motivation he required for not only his status within the program but also his behavior in general. During his second and third year, his standing improved, earning him top awards. But then tragedy struck, taking both parents in one fell swoop and he had spiraled down, no longer caring about himself or anyone else, and wishing the person responsible for his parents’ death hadn’t died with them so he could extract his own revenge. Only well-placed guilt from Liam had pushed him to complete his final year and graduate.
True love isn’t always about big romantic gestures.
Sometimes it’s about sympathizing with someone whose tea has gone cold or reading together and sharing a quilt. When two people move in together, it soon becomes apparent that the little things mean an awful lot. The throwaway moments in life become meaningful when you spend them in the company of someone you love.